I remember visiting synagogues in Europe and noticing that after services, the men would take off their kippot. These were religious men who were Sabbath observant, so why would they take off their kippah? Because the value of pikuah nefesh, saving themselves from getting beaten up or tormented, took precedence over wearing a kippah.
I read in yesterday’s Newsday about a “hidden kippah,” made out of real or synthetic hair, that one clips on from the inside. This product was made in Rehovot, Israel and is being marketed in particular to French Jews. I had mixed feelings about reading the article. On the one hand, I appreciate that it helps those who want to wear a kippah yet are afraid to. On the other hand, I felt saddened that people would have to hide their kippot, the symbols of their Jewish identity. I pray for the day when Jews from all over the world will be able to wear the kippah of their choice, whether it is a colorful kippah like mine, a velvet kippah. a white kippah or a different variation. May the day come soon when fellow Jews from all around the world will be able to proudly wear a kippah, rather than hide this integral part of their identity.